Motivational and inspirational writer, Bryan Hutchinson is the author of several books about life with ADHD including the highly acclaimed, best selling "One Boy′s Struggle: A Memoir" and the author of the hilarious eBook that went viral "10 Things I Hate about ADHD"

Stop Struggling Now and Restore Your (ADHD) Relationship

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From Bryan: This is a guest post from the ever helpful and always positive ADD / ADHD relationship consultant Melissa Orlov, author of the award-winning The ADHD Effect on Marriage: Rebuild Your Relationship in Six Steps.

“Our relationship shouldn’t be this hard!”

- is a sentiment expressed by many couples struggling when one or both partners have ADHD.

They might fight regularly, get stuck in repetitive struggles about control and chore completion, and start to feel as if the relationship is one extended battle after another.

If this describes your relationship, you are not alone.  Statistically speaking, relationships impacted by adult ADHD are more likely to be dysfunctional than healthy.

That’s scary – but you don’t have to be one of those struggling couples!

Learn about the specific patterns that can plague relationships impacted by ADHD and you can interrupt and CHANGE them!

Knowledge is power and you can obtain it to save your ADHD relationship.

Click Here to tweet that.

Your life:

Let me give you one example to illustrate how knowing about and interrupting these patterns can completely change your relationship.

One pattern is ‘symptom/response/response’ in which an ADHD symptom is expressed, the other partner responds to that symptom (without realizing that’s what’s happening) and then the ADHD partner responds to the response rather than the underlying issue.

In this common example, an ADHD partner is so distracted that he or she doesn’t pay much attention to the non-ADHD partner (sound familiar?  These patterns are quite predictable!).

The non-ADHD partner responds by feeling lonelier and lonelier and getting more and more anxious – finally deciding that the ADHD partner no longer loves her and becomes angry about being ignored.

The ADHD partner hears the anger and responds to that anger with more anger.

The non-ADHD partner is hurt that the ADHD partner is angry rather than “hearing” her pain… so gets angrier yet… soon the couple is fighting and negative much of the time.

What’s really going on:

The ADHD partner is expressing the symptom “distraction” yet neither partner is aware of the consequences of this.

If both partners are aware that the ADHD partner is distracted then they can both define the problem correctly (i.e. it’s not that the ADHD partner doesn’t love the non-ADHD partner, but rather that he/she is distracted) and then solve the problem.

Instead of becoming angry, they could create opportunities to connect with each other in ways that get past distraction – perhaps carving out specific times of the day to talk with each other, going on regular romantic dates, and scheduling times to plan what needs to get done around the house so that the non-ADHD partner doesn’t feel abandoned.

Not only does this approach address the real problem (and therefore solves the problem rather than extending it) it also is so much healthier!

It’s a better approach:

You and your partner don’t have to struggle.

As a marriage consultant I have seen many, many couples get their loving relationship back on track in a way that appropriately integrates ADHD into their partnership and supports both partners.

All you need is knowledge about ADHD and relationships and a willingness to attack the negative interactions between you head on.

What’s the biggest challenge in your relationship? Share in the comments.


Melissa offers live and recorded couples seminars designed to provide the tools couples need to permanently change their relationship for the better. Her latest seminar begins 7 Jan 2013, tomorrow! Go sign up now, click here. That’s an affiliate link, but doesn’t affect you and I highly recommend the seminar for couples who truly want to make their relationship better.

My latest post on Positive Writer: How to Unlock Your Creativity and Stop Feeling Like A Failure ~Bryan

Péter Cseplész January 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

hello everyone

for us the hardest is my constant memory disability and the problems with the communication.

I mean, I forget. Everything almost, even the important things and when we are in a major trouble again of the same thing (I forgot to call a surveyor, I forgot to pay, I forgot to do a reclamation, I forgot to solve it, etc.), after the 1000 th. situation everyone’s steam is hitting the fan.

The other one occurs of the minor issues, when the attention disab combines with the memory fail. (“what shall i buy in the shop?” “What did we talk about to do tomorrow?”
And a vrey common: “Why didn’t You tell me that we have to do that tomorrow, as I’ve planned something else” – I’m asking rushed out “I’ve told You 4 dayys ago, that we have to and I’ve enough of that!Note everything what is important!” – she replies
(Note is not my friend:I recently forget to get it out and check what is important, so I don’t use it. :( )

It adds up and now she is starting to have health issus partly of my ADHD. Getting the money together of having the handbook for married pairs…

Péter Cseplész January 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

surveyor wanted to be provider. Happens, if I lose the control of my english, sorry. :D :D

Melissa Orlov January 7, 2013 at 2:14 am

For memory issues – think about creating a “no-fail” memory system so that the system remembers and you don’t have to. So, for example, you might use a cell phone alarm to remind you to do a project (make sure it rings at the time you want to do the project!), or keep a whiteboard in a very visible place that you pass by all the time. Many couples I work with hold a weekly meeting to coordinate around that week’s priorities – who does what, when, etc and them puts that information IMMEDIATELY into the memory system. Many people with ADHD also use phone-based note or project apps to make sure they capture what they need to do right at the moment they think of it (so they won’t forget or become distracted.)

Péter Cseplész January 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Thank YOu Melissa, apart of that I often forget to check, what shall I check ( :D ) we are working on it and Your opinion about the “things to do list on this week” has been launched just today.It shall work – and Your book will be purchased – as I’m risking our marriage about the ADHD.

There is another thing i’d like toa sk: What are the experiences about the neurofeedback-therapy (with EEG) and the brain training?
(if YOu had an article about it before, please let me know. I haven’t already scrolled the whole site, maxima mea culpa. :) – Or I did, maybe I simply forgot. I don’t remember. :) )

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